The Verrophone

Verrophone, C. Hofinger / S. Reckert 1996

One of the youngest members of the glass instrument family is the verrophone, invented by a contemporary German glass musician. Instead of bowls, he used tubes of high-quality industrial glass affixed vertically to a wooden frame.

Like a pipe organ or pan flute, the pitch of every tube is determined by its length, which avoids the problems caused by disparate bowl diameters as described for the glass harp. Other advantages are the verrophone’s compact construction and its greater dynamic abilities: an audience of 500 to 1000 people can hear the verrophone without technical amplification.

As the sound of the instrument is similar to that of the armonica, most classical glass music can be played on the verrophone. And due to its greater volume and more precise beginning of the tone, the verrophone is better suited than the armonica to chamber music such as Mozart’s K617 Quintet. Solo pieces of great virtuosity, such as Tomachek’s "Fantasia" (including a ‘Fuga a 3’) can also be performed on the verrophone without any loss.